Sinclair Expansion To Have Impact On River Plan

Thursday, September 6th 2007, 4:43 pm
By: News On 6

The billion dollar Sinclair expansion will impact the Arkansas River development project. The News On 6’s Emory Bryan reports Sinclair plans to add some corporate money to support the river project and make some changes that will improve the view, and reduce the smell.

The Sinclair refinery borders the levee on the part of the west bank, creating a view of heavy industry right where Tulsa County wants to attract tourists. But as part of the expansion, Sinclair has offered to install heavy landscaping that will screen the view of the refinery from people on the river trail.

"Overall the whole visual, after all it's an operating refinery, it's not pretty, but the landscaping at ground level, you won't see through it, it's going to be nice," John Goodwin with Sinclair Refinery said.

The refinery will still be plainly visible from further away, but the new buffer, coupled with new technology that reduces the smell, will make the refinery more compatible with the plans for river development.

"They are joining the river project and not just do the landscaping that we've been talking about, but also they're going to make an investment to make it all work with the river," said Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor.

Sinclair offered $250,000 in planning money that will make sure their landscaping fits with the river plan.

"We're going to landscape that area in a way that is consistent with the river master plan,” Sinclair Vice President Kevin Brown said. “And we're going to cut our emissions from the Tulsa refinery by roughly a thousand tons a day associated with this project."

Sinclair says that will improve Tulsa's air quality and reduce ground level ozone.

Since the refinery is right by the current pedestrian bridge, and along the river trail on the west side, the combination of less smell and more landscaping is a boost for river development.

"And so when you have someone willing to expand and make improvements from a beautification standpoint on the river, that's fabulous," Tulsa Chamber President Chet Cadieuex said.

Sinclair's Vice President, who made the announcement Thursday, lived in Tulsa for seven years in the early 90s and he mentioned that as part of the reason he was so interested in the city's future. And as one of the reasons he was supporting the river project. As for the expansion itself, it's something Sinclair is doing at many of their refineries around the country.

Watch the video: View From The River To Be Improved In Refinery Expansion

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9/6/2007 Sinclair Announces Billion Dollar Expansion

9/6/2007 Sinclair Expansion Could Create Nationwide Ripple Effect